Monthly Archives: March 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

We took the girls to see How to Train Your Dragon this past weekend, and I have a couple of observations to make about it.

I’ve been thinking lately that, in a world that’s been spoiled by the quality standards set by Pixar (both in terms of storylines and visuals), it’s getting harder and harder to make animated films that hold kids’ (and adults’) attention. 

This one did

If it hadn’t been for all the talking kids (and crying babies – I kid you not; someone brought a baby to a 4:55 matinee and walked her up and down the aisle instead of taking her to the lobby), I don’t think my attention would have shifted from the screen for the whole hour and a half.  In fact, there were some sequences (especially those on the water) that I thought were nothing short of stunning, and I remember looking at Hiccup’s face and seeing all of his freckles and really appreciating the animators’ attention to detail.

The story was simple and time-honored (misfit child learns something vital to the survival of his community), but it didn’t feel overdone.  I think, too, that the screenwriters hit a lovely mid-point between appealing to an audience that ranges from 5-year-olds to the adults who accompany them.  There were a few references that the adults got that went right over the heads of the under-12 set, and there was enough little-kid humor to keep the smaller people laughing (I was particularly fond of Hiccup’s dry sarcasm; the line “thank you for nothing, you useless reptile,” delivered in a deadpan voice, was enough to get the whole Chili clan (ages just-eleven to nearly-48) chuckling).

Finally, the voices were just wonderful – particularly the Scots brogue of both Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson.  I’m also pretty jazzed about the fact that the story writers didn’t go for the cheap and easy way out by having the dragons talk – and by the fact that the animators were able to convey a really impressive array of emotion and communication with the dragons with only facial expression and gesture.  I felt like we really got the relationship between Toothless and Hiccup without having to buy that the dragons and the people spoke the same language.

While this isn’t a film I likely would have gone to see without the girls, it IS a film I will buy when it comes out on DVD and will gladly watch again.  It’s a fun flick – well worth the price of a matinee and some popcorn.  If you’ve got small people in your life, take them to see this film; you’ll both be glad you did.


Filed under fun, funniness, Home and Family, movies

Ten Things Tuesday

Here are ten things that I always buy the name-brand of:

1. Noxzema. Mr. Chili uses this to shave, and I made the mistake of buying the store brand of this…. once. Not only do I have to buy Noxzema, but I have to buy the tubs of the stuff; the pump bottles don’t cut it, either.

2. Colegate original toothpaste. I’ve tried other brands; I grew up using Aim, and I’ve given a couple of Tom’s of Maine varieties a try, but I always come back to Colegate original.

3. Ovaltine. I start every morning with a glass of classic chocolate malt Ovaltine. No Quik, no Nestle instant breakfast, no Hershey’s syrup; it’s either Ovaltine or nothing.

4. Tide laundry detergent. I’ve tried to use other brands, but I keep coming back to Tide mountain breeze scent. The scent it leaves on our clothes is JUST light enough – strangely, I’ve found that I prefer a little bit of light scent than the smell that gets left behind from “unscented” laundry soap.

5. Coca-Cola. While I’ll drink diet Pepsi in restaurants (if that’s all they’ve got), I only ever buy Coke products at home – diet caffeine-free for me and cherry Coke for Mr. Chili.

6. Lay’s potato chips and Doritos. Every once in a while, I really want Cape Cod kettle-cooked chips, but for the most part, I’m coming out of the grocery store with the light and salty yumminess that comes in the bright yellow bags. I’ve also tried to get away with the store brands of taco chips, but they just don’t do it; it’s Doritos or nothing.

7. Band-aid or Curad bandages. I don’t have a particular preference of one brand over the other, but I can tell you that I don’t like store-brand bandages. My experience with them has been that they’re either too sticky or too stiff.

8. Burt’s Bees. I’m in love with the lemon butter cuticle cream, the coconut foot cream, and the exfoliating body wash (which I use exclusively as a facial cleanser). Love the stuff.

9. Post-it notes. I’m addicted to the little sticky flags; as I’m morally opposed to writing in books (and I AM an English teacher, so I write a lot of notes about the books I read), I go through packages and packages of Post-it notes. I think the Post-it brand has much higher quality of paper and adhesive than the knock-off brands.

10. Even though there aren’t generics for these, the Chili family is exceedingly brand-loyal to Sony, Apple, and Volkswagen. I’m hoping to get a new laptop sometime soon; we’re loving our new Sony big-screen t.v., and I continue to be hopelessly in love with my VW Golf.

Next week, I’ll list the things which I am happy to buy as generics.


Filed under Little Bits of Nothingness, my oh-so-exciting life, ten things Tuesday

Monday Meme

This was a random dozen boosted from NurseExec last week.

1. What is your favorite sign of Spring?
Warm weather.  It’s not really spring for me until it’s consistently above 65°.
2. Did you remember to spring forward on March 14? If not, how did it impact your day?
I remembered.  It took me about a week to acclimate.  Blah
3. If soil, time, talent and climate were no problem, what vegetable would you plant in a garden this year?
Vegetable?  Probably peas; I’m a big fan of pea pods.  Oh, and rhubarb which is, technically, a vegetable.  I’m working on cultivating my rhubarb stand.
4. If soil, time, talent and climate were no problem, what fruit would you plant?
Watermelon.  I can’t get enough of the stuff.
5. What is your least favorite insect?
Earwigs creep me right the hell out.
6. March 22 was World Water Day. To celebrate, here are some water questions. Do you drink bottled water? If so, what brand?
I do not drink bottled water if I can help it.  We have a Brita filter-thingy on our countertop.
7. Have you ever been somewhere that it was not safe to drink the local water? If so, how did you handle that?
I don’t think I’ve ever had that problem, though I tend to avoid drinking local water when I’m away from home.
8. How many glasses of water do you drink per day?
Technically, none.  I have at least 32 ounces of green tea a day, though, and I think that counts.

9. March 24 is the birthday of Harry Houdini. Have you ever watched a professional magic show? Share.
I’ve only ever seen magicians on t.v.  That’s never really been my thing, so I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.
10. Have you ever been a participant in a professional magic show (up on stage!)?
11. March 24 is also the birthday of Steve McQueen and Clyde Barrow. Do you like Westerns or gangster movies? If so, what is your favorite?
I don’t know that I could say either of them is a favorite genre, though there are a couple of westerns that I like (I’d consider Dances with Wolves and Tombstone westerns), and I like a few gangster movies, too (hello?  The Godfather?  Plus, I think that Sons of Anarchy is really just The Sopranos on motorcycles with a big dose of Hamlet thrown in for flavor…).

12. (Really random) What U.S. state that you’ve never visited would you like to visit someday?
Hawaii, Baby; bring it on!  Of course, if I get there, I’m afraid I’ll never leave….


Filed under Little Bits of Nothingness, meme


Today’s post is here, instead of in this space.  We’re taking the girls to go see How to Train Your Dragon this afternoon, and I don’t have time to write two posts…


Filed under compassion and connection, Friends, love notes, messages from the Universe, Worries and Anxieties, yoga - theory and practice

Six Word Saturday

Punkin’ and Mom; Girls Night Out.

*Punkin’s friend never RSVP’d to her sleepover invitation.  Since tonight is Beanie’s sleepover birthday party (to which her sister was allowed to invite a friend as a distraction), I’ve decided to come to the rescue and take the teenager out of the environment lest her misery spills over into the festivities.  I’m thinking dinner and some shopping; I’ll report back to let you know how it went.


Filed under compassion and connection, doing my duty, family matters, Home and Family, my oh-so-exciting life, Parenting

One Ringy Dingy…

image credit

I love Lily Tomlin.

That’s not what this post is about, though.  No; this post is about the fact that I’ve got my husband creating ringtones for me!

He’d done it for a few songs when I first got the phone a couple of years ago (O’Mama‘s tone is a clip from KT Tunstall’s “Suddenly I See” and BoBo’s is the opening riff from “Blue on Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepard, but those were the only ones I had set up).  I had a hankering to do a little more customizing lately, though, so I decided to see if I could figure this voodoo out on my own.

I went to this site (which has illustrations!  Which is exactly what I need!) to figure out how to do this wonder of modern file-cutting myself, but he told me that all I needed to do was go to my iTunes and make a list of the songs (and the sections of those songs) that I wanted and he’d take care of the rest.

He’s my hero.

Auntie‘s ringtone is currently the motorcycle revving sound that came as one of the pre-loaded effects on the phone.  It suits her, but the frequency of the sound is so low that I often don’t hear it (and then she gives me crap for not picking up her calls).  Unless she’s got any objections (or any requests), I’m giving her the opening of “Bicycle Race” by Queen.

Dudley’s ringtone on Mr. Chili’s phone is the opening bars from Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride.”  Now, it’ll be his ringtone on MY phone, too!

Bob Jr. requested the Clash (“Stay or Go” which, he says, sums up his musings about his employment situation.  STAY, ya bastid!).  We’re in the process of loading that up.

I’ve decided that Sphrynatude doesn’t get to choose his ringtone.  He’s getting the opening riff from “Get Over It” by the Eagles.  “You bitch about the present / and blame it on the past / I’d like to find your inner child / and kick his little ass!”  This is SO his style.

I’ve got a call out to Gerry to see how he’d like my phone to sound when he calls.

If I know you in real life (Hi, Kizz!  Hi, Falcon!  Hi, Carson!  Hi, Snob!  Hi… oh, you know who you are!), and you’ve got a ringtone request, tell me what it is and I’ll have Mr. Chili cut it and load it up for you.  That way, when you call, I’ll know it’s you before I even fish the phone out of my bag**!  How cool is that?!

**the problem with this, of course, is what if I really LIKE the song you choose as your ringtone?  Mr. Chili has actually been too late picking up Dudley’s call because he’s too busy rocking out to his ringtone.  That could prove to be a problem….


Filed under family matters, Friends, from the iPhone, funniness, Little Bits of Nothingness, music, My husband rocks!, Questions, weirdness

Thought for Thursday

*tap, tap...*

image credit

Is this thing on?!  Is there anybody out there?


Filed under concerns, Worries and Anxieties